NorCal Digital Coordination Council

We have formed the NorCal Digital Coordination Council (NCDCC) whose primary intent is to grow the amateur community through the proliferation of new technologies. Today we broadly refer to this category as digital but down the road it will no doubt be something entirely different. We believe that operating and experimenting with cutting edge technologies is the basis by which this hobby was founded. It is our hope to honor previous generations of Hams by ensuring that this legacy of innovation is both continued and embraced.

As a first step we will serve as the primary coordinator for digital repeaters and auxiliaries in the VHF spectrum allocated for such use as approved by the NARCC Board in January 2011. Additionally, we will seek to coordinate digital repeaters and auxiliaries in other parts of the spectrum allocated for general repeater use.

More importantly, we will work with others to identify under utilized spectrum throughout the amateur bands and through our efforts aggressively advocate responsible management and deployment of our hobby’s most precious asset. We believe that spectrum management is an ongoing process that requires leadership. As such we will constantly analyze community needs, advancements in technology and spectrum allocation and make adjustments as necessary.

The first example of this commitment is evident in our two meter band plan. The plan was developed after thorough analysis of data compiled from a near one-year spectrum usage study, and extensive dialogue with a diverse set of groups representing a variety of interests in the Northern California Amateur Radio community. The data, which is presented below, was compiled using Spectrum Manager IX connected to an Icom PCR-2500 through a filter system from the top of Mt. Diablo,

By using this confirmed data, we have created a band plan which takes advantage of digital repeaters narrow band capabilities. As such we have created a win-win scenario for the Amateur community. Spectrum has been made available for digital repeater use in a very narrow portion of the band which previously saw little to no use and digital repeaters can now be deployed in a manner which minimizes their impact on the 146Mhz and 147Mhz portion of the band.

The evidence shows the success of this plan. Below is a live image of the spectrum usage after the Digital Repeaters made the move to the Digital Spectrum.

We will endeavor to recognize repeaters coordinated by other entities. But we do not believe coordination is a right bestowed in perpetuity. Spectrum is a public asset and repeater owners are generously granted the privilege of its use. This privilege carries with it serious responsibilities. The responsibility to maintain equipment, ensure that it is being used and used properly and most importantly to make the system available to serve the broader needs of the communities in which we live.

We begin this mission wishing to work with others in the amateur community. Our goal is clear, to foster innovation, minimize chaos and ensure a coordination system that is fair, fulfills its stated purpose and does so in a manner in which all voices are heard and respected.

We encourage everyone to play a role and be part of this organization.